Some Whimpering

If  one sits at the desk for some time, one normally gets up and goes to the library, or just for a walk around the hill or a stroll in town or something.
But when deadlines loom there is no such break. And chances are that one develops a posture that is more or less backbreaking. It starts with some payne in the lower spine and sooner or later all the muscles in the back ache. Normally the point of no return is reached sometimes at night between 01:00 and 02:00. That’s when one realizes that standing tall hurts, walking hurts, sitting hurts and even laying down is not as easy as it was – forget about getting up.
When the assignment is done and it is sure that the money will roll in for the next first of the month, it’s time to crawl to the friendly doctor. He’ll ram in a needle without much ado and say something like “sport” and will look a bit bewildered when the answer is just “pfft” and so he’ll then come up with “regular movement” – something like a walk around the hill or a stroll in town …  ach …
After that one walked to the local supermarket and when finally home decided to lie down – at the early afternoon, mind you. And because one felt cold, a hot water bag to warm the icy feed seemed a splendid idea. In a flash of genius one put it under the hurting back spine and warmed the aching muscles and fell asleep. The next day one felt better with the payne nearly gone, just sitting at the desk of torture was still no option. And somewhere up the dorsum was a new hurting spot – yes, hottie friend had slowly but steadily burnt the velvet skin and one now carries a nice burn blister.
But now I’m moving around like a hare, a bit more hare-brained, possibly.

29 thoughts on “Some Whimpering

  1. Good evening Mago,

    When I came in from the field and started working a desk fulltime. I began to have issues with my back, among other things. After doing a bit of research I built myself a standup desk with a treadmill built into the floor. Now I can walk stand or sit while at my desk, it has helped quite a bit.
    Depending on your situation you may not be able to do the treadmill, yet I would think any office would allow a standup desk. A little research and some standing may help you to avoid the doctor’s visit.

    Enjoy your weekend.

  2. Whimpering is OK. Back pain is tough. Please take care of yourself.

    I had a couple of years in my mid-30s with back trouble. It went away eventually. Not sure why, maybe things just re-positioned themselves or something.

  3. I much prefer a “soft” deadline. Hard deadlines freak me out in the same way that knowing I have to be up very early in the morning and be somewhere freaks me out. I can’t sleep then for worry and then end up with inadequate sleep at my early morning asssignment.
    It’s a funny thing–if I really don’t give a flying flip about the assignment, i.e. I know it needs to be done but it’s something that I don’t care much about, I do a far better job. If it’s something I care about, I stress over it way too much.

    I know a lot about having back issues, as I’m sure I have at least a couple of herniated discs which cause my sciatica, but not as much as my brother who had back surgery. Do be careful with it!

  4. Also, I would look for a cushion for the desk chair. There are gel-filled ones which are actually made for wheel chairs but they work well in desk chairs because they are designed specifically to take pressure off the spine in people who have to sit all the time. They tend to be on the expensive side, so a regular foam cushion may do as well. My son recently got a memory foam mattress and it’s helped with his back issues.

  5. Dear Mago,
    I feel your pain… having my own episodes with a painful lower back.
    The treatment approach by many medico’s is… Lose weight, exercise, watch your posture, stop winging! All extremely unhelpful suggestions when in acute pain! “Just give me some good drugs”
    I find that physiotherapy can be helpful and they will work out a program of strengthening exercises that you can work on at home.
    A regular gentle massage when the pain eases a little, just to help with relaxing the muscles helps me when I’m in a similar position.

    Might I suggest that when using a hot water bottle, wrap it in a towel to decrease the risk of secondary burns my friend… Ouch!

    I hope that you recover soon from the pain and limited movement
    Mr Mago.

  6. Hello Karl – a standup thing is very good for reading and preparing a lecture. For longer text writing, reaerxh and translating – there’s simply not enough space. The treadmill is a good idea. But the young family in teh appartemetnt under me wouild not like me hanging from their ceiling. It would frighten their baby son. The man is a real hulk, he’d rip off my head without much ado and I even couldn’t blame him. The last German emperor Wilhelm II had a saddle in front of his desk mounted in Doorn so he always had to sit stright up. But I’ll go with Orchid’s cushion.

    Maybe it made a loud CRACK and everything was back to normal, XL. I only once had a real massage of my back, it was a gift, but I remember it as a very relaxing and ja sogar befreiende experience. Maybe I should put some money aside and try to find a hamam here.

    These deadlines are a strange thing, aren’t they, dear Orchids. I mostly had (and have) to deliver texts, be it as an author, a corrector or something. When I had to write on a regular schedule a kind of scheme formed: It took sometime to give me the idea of how to manage the theme, then to find tha material (sometimes it was the other way: I had material at my hand, but did not know how to handle it), a kind of roadmap formed, and the “Knoten ist geplatzt” – the knot exploded, the way lay clear. When this happened I lost interest, because the rest is sit down and work, write, sweat …and that only happens under a strong unforgiving deadline. In the actual case: No text means no money, no rent, no food – you get the idea.

    I actually sit on a cushion, Orchids, I have no idea whether it is gel filled, but it is one of these things that forces one to move the lower spine. It was somehow conferred, but is back now where it belongs: Under my arse.

  7. Dear Princess – you snug in while I was writing my previous article: Yes, I agree, these medics are easy with the word. But I have the pleasure to see a “good doctor” – he really made no fuss: He simply hammered a bit around my back with some strange instrument, asked my to drop the pants and stuck the needle in. I was squealing and squekeing and said something like “No nonsense here, just let me have it” wherupon he burst laughing.
    The injection helped. It took more than 20 hours, but it helped and today I can sit at my desk and move around.
    My hottie friend was wrapped in, but somehow it was moved anway and I really did not notice. Next time I will try to burn something in, like “wrap here” – or I go just with the name of my bubbling friend: “Standard”.

  8. I do hope you’re back, now, to your regular walks and breaks. I find if I don’t get out for a run at some point during the day I become much less efficient anyway, and don’t get nearly as much done. Still I sometimes find I deny myself the run when a deadline is biting, until I realise I’ve been staring at the same sentence for half an hour and achieved nothing, then out I go.

    Have you considered getting one of those bags filled with wheat that can be heated in a microwave oven and pressed against sore spots without fear of blisters?

  9. Dear Eryl Shields, you just kicked off a trail of thoughts in my humble brain about writing and how it changed over the years, I will write about this later, when I’ll have somehow put it in an order. Thank you!
    I am sorry, I have no idea about the bags of wheat you mention. But I am sure that I could turn it into a burning sensation. :)

  10. I’m just a left over from Frayday.
    I really regret that I found no way to implement a clock here.
    My “rhythm” is a bit different, always was a night person, an owl.

  11. Empathy. Take care! I once thought I would never have full use of my right shoulder again … but it has come back to me and I can now put on a shirt or coat on normally and pull on the cord of a lawn mower again …. and I often do not trust my right knee, that it will not hold firm for me due to a minor ski accident … and once my right thumb jammed and just as it got better my left one jammed so that I was almost thumbless for a while …. what else? well, that’s enough for now. lol Stay well, stay strong!

  12. So sorry Mago. Back ache– two little four letter words that cause pain and trouble trying to do a job. I have no great cure , if I did I would be rich.

  13. Ah yes… the endless hours sitting and the endless pain in the back. A good massage does wonders. And using that hot water bottle is good, but always wrap in a couple thick towels to prevent the burns. Silly man! Visit your pharmacy and ask if they have the cloth bags filled with wheat or barley… Over here they are often called “Magic Bags”. Much more difficult to burn oneself with them, as if you make it too hot in the microwave, it could potentially catch on fire. Instructions must always be followed! ;-)

    Hope you are feeling more mobile and loosened up soon. Walking is good, as is gentle stretching of the back and legs.

  14. Ah, the back pain. I know that well. Despite the rush of the assignment, taking a short 5 minute break every hour to stretch and relax your back is a lot better than having days of incapacitating pain later. Don’t cha think? Anyway, others have given you good advice on treating your back. Hope you continue to get better.

  15. Oh you poor thing. Please get up and do some stretching exercises in future.
    I’ve been sitting here too long and my back is complaining so Im going to do a bit of yoga. Imagine me in the Downward Facing Dog pose.

  16. Thank you for “stiff agony”, dear Leah.

    Holy cow, Kat – only reading about jamming thumbs and joints makes me shiver. Thank you for your empathy!

    Ha, Joyce, you are right, what nasty little four letter words!

    Ah, those bags, see what I answered to Eryl Shields: I am sure I could make them pop, it’s Korn after all. And you know Ponita – blokes do not read instructions! Or follow directions. Or a map. That’s why blokes normally stand in the middle of nowhere, smoldering …

    Thank you Amanda, magical self healing powers at work.

    Yes, LGS, but you know about the difference between “knowing” and “doing” …

    I’ll search for it immedeately, Scarlet!

  17. I had a Turkish massage once in Kusadasi. I had hoped he’d be like one of the masseurs you see in Dynasty, tall, square jawed a heaving rock of hard muscle, instead I got what looked to be a 65 year old goat herder with only one tooth in his head, he put me through half an hour of “gentle” manipulation which he must’ve learnt from the Gestapo Handbook of Extracting Information and for which I shelled out 40 euros for the pleasure. But it did cure my backache. I skipped out of that sauna glowing!

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